Bursitis is a painful condition that affects the joints. Bursa (synovial bags) are fluid-filled sacs that act as pillows between bones, tendons, joints, and muscles. When these sacs become inflamed, this is called “bursitis.” It is a relatively common disease, but since many people treat it at home and do not go to the doctor, it is difficult to know exactly how widespread this disease is. In this article, we will consider how to treat bursitis disease.
What is bursitis
There are over 150 synovial bags in the human body. They soften and lubricate the spaces between the bones, tendons, and muscles near the joints. The synovial bag is lined with synovial cells. Synovial cells produce a lubricant that reduces friction between tissues. Cushioning and lubrication allows our joints to move easily. When a person has bursitis or inflammation of the bursa, movement or tension becomes very painful. Overload, injury, and sometimes infection due to gout or rheumatoid arthritis can cause bursitis.
The most common places of the disease:
- Shoulders (subacromial bursitis).
- Elbows (tennis elbow).
- Knees (bursitis on top of the patella).
- Buttocks (sciatic bursitis).
- Hips (trochanteric bursitis).
How to treat bursitis disease – self-medication
Most cases of bursitis can be treated at home, with the help of a pharmacist and self-medication.
Self-medication typically includes:
- Protection of the affected area: A pad (cushion) can protect damaged bags from contact.
- Rest: Do not use joints in the affected area unless necessary. Bursitis responds well to rest.
- Ice Packs: Placing an ice pack wrapped in a towel on the affected area can help reduce pain and inflammation. Alternatively, a small packet of frozen vegetables will suffice. Ice should not be placed directly on the skin.
- Raising the affected area: less blood will build up and this can help reduce inflammation.
- Painkillers: Effective in reducing inflammation.
Try a walking stick, crutch, or stroller of any other type for bursitis in the legs. Although you may not like using a cane or a walker, these devices help you take some of the weight from the bursa area, which allows it to heal faster and also reduces your pain.
Try a tire or bandage; they provide support to affected areas. In the case of bursitis, they can provide the compression necessary for your joint areas, which will lead to faster healing.
However, use only a bandage or tires for the initial pain. If you use them for too long, it reduces the strength in this joint. Talk to your doctor about how long you should wear.
Medical treatment may be necessary for more severe symptoms.
1. Ask your doctor about corticosteroids. This type of injection is one of the main methods for treating bursitis disease. Essentially, your doctor will use a needle to inject cortisone into the joint.
If you are worried about pain, most doctors first use an anesthetic to anesthetize the area. Your doctor may also use an ultrasound to help guide the needle to the right place. These injections should help with both inflammation and pain, although it may worsen at first, then it will get better.
2. Take antibiotics. Sometimes inflammation is caused by an infection. A course of antibiotics can help your body fight infection by reducing inflammation and bursitis. If the bursa is infected, your doctor may first pump the infected fluid with a needle.
3. Physical therapy. Physical therapy may be a good option for you, especially if you have frequent outbreaks. A physical therapist can show you how to best train to improve your range of motion and level of pain, and how to help prevent future problems.
4. Try swimming or sit in hot water. Water can help you move your joint more easily without pain so you can slowly restore movement. However, be careful in your swimming. Swimming can lead to bursitis in the shoulder, so keep the intensity low. Focus on restoring movement and reducing pain, rather than intense training. Another option is physical therapy in water, which can reduce your pain under the guidance of a professional.
5. Use the operation as the last option. A doctor can surgically remove a bursa if this becomes a serious problem, but this treatment is usually the last thing a doctor recommends.
Symptoms and Causes
A person with bursitis may have one or more of the following symptoms:
- Pain that aggravates with movement or pressure.
- Soreness, even without movement.
- Restriction of movement.
If bursitis is caused by an infection, it is called septic bursitis. Patients with septic bursitis may have the following additional symptoms:
- Redness in the affected area.
- When touched, the affected area is hot to the touch.
When to see a doctor.
Many people treat bursitis at home, but if the symptoms are more serious, they should seek medical help. How to treat bursitis disease see above.
More serious symptoms include:
- Joint pain that blocks all movements.
- The pain lasts longer than 2 weeks.
- Sharp, “shooting” pain.
- Severe swelling, bruising, rash, or redness in the affected area.
These may be signs of septic bursitis, a potentially serious illness.
Damage or injury. A fall or impact on a hard surface can cause the bursa to fill with blood and its lining to become inflamed. Although the body reabsorbs the blood, the bursa lining can become inflamed, causing bursitis symptoms. This is called traumatic bursitis.
Repeated pressure. Most often, brachial bursitis is caused by frequent “mini-injuries,” which can cause the same problems as a single, more serious injury. People who need to raise their arms above their heads for work or sports are more likely to develop shoulder bursitis over time. People at higher risk for developing shoulder bursitis include artists, tennis players, swimmers, etc.
An infection causes bursitis, usually in a synovial bag, which is located closer to the surface of the skin, for example, near the elbow. A cut on the skin is an opportunity for bacteria to get inside.
Most healthy people do not suffer from bacteria entering the skin, but people with weakened immune systems are at greater risk. For example, people with diabetes or HIV / AIDS, those who are receiving chemotherapy or radiation therapy for cancer, people taking steroids, and people who like to drink alcohol.
Who is at risk for bursitis
Risk factors for developing bursitis include:
- There are chronic medical problems.
- Participation in a recurring action in a sport or activity.
- Improper posture.
- Acquisition of an infection that can spread throughout your body to your synovial bag, bone, and joint.
- Bursa injuries.
In order to diagnose bursitis, the doctor will examine the affected areas and ask the patient about his recent activities.
If the patient has a high temperature, the doctor may take a small sample of fluid from the bursa next to the affected part of the body. Samples will be tested for bacteria, and possibly also for crystals.
If the treatment is not effective, the doctor may conduct additional tests to rule out the possibility of a more serious illness.
- X-ray to check for broken or fragmented bones.
- Blood tests to evaluate the possibility of rheumatoid arthritis .
- CT or MRI to see if there is a tendon rupture.